Full Council, 14th November 2011





Present:  Cllr Hodson (Chairman), Leslie, Nightingale, Roundhill, Southworth, Sebastian, Thompson, Wade, Ward, White.

Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (clerk)

1.                  To receive apologies and reason for absence
None.2.                  To receive declarations of interest in respect of items on the AgendaJohn Hodson declared a personal interest in item 17 as Vice Chairman to the Cricket Club.3.                  To co-opt Councillor

John Hodson proposed Mrs Bonnie White as Councillor for Hever Parish Council.  This was seconded by Anita Sebastian.  All Councillors voted in favour.

4.                  Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.


5.                  To receive reports of County and District Councillors


Cllr Peter Lake attended a meeting at Gatwick along with Peter Bream.  Some sensible suggestions were put forward to try to take aircraft away from the Hever gate by going over Marsh Green.  It was proposed that the flight path is much closer to Gatwick. Unfortunately, Cowden are not pleased at the threat of more aircraft overhead so a balance will need to be struck.  The Action Team also would like a steeper approach so that aircraft do not meander in over Hever.  The recommended height is 3,000 feet but aircraft have been seen coming in as low as 1,800 feet over Hever.

The new noise meter does not give the number of aircraft, their height and the noise volume.  A report has recently been received but is difficult to read as it has been written with applied science. However, the report does say that aircraft noise is well under noise limits when flying into Hever.  It was noted that the report is dismissive in that Gatwick authorities say that the noise meter to be removed at the beginning of the year.  We would like to keep noise meter for as long as possible as it is the only active noise meter for air traffic coming from the East.  Duncan Leslie noted that the report states there is a lot of background noise in Hever.  However, this noise should be attributed to aircraft approaching and leaving the area as there is no other background noise in Hever.  Tom Denton has said that someone from Gatwick will come to translate report once the second report is in.  A meeting can be convened at such a time.

Councillor Lake urged residents to complain to Gatwick but, where necessary, we should be seen to work with them, not against them.

A meeting on 6pm 9 December in Edenbridge is open to the public.  Representatives from Gatwick including Tom Denton and Lee Howes will be speaking.  Cllr Lake recommended that representatives from Hever Parish Council should attend.

Three sets of parents have approached Cllr Lake to discuss transportation to school.  Historically all transportation to school has been funded by KCC provided children live 3 miles from school.  However, grammar schools have been dropped as the ‘nearest appropriate school’.  Therefore, grammar school children will have to fund their own transport.  As long as Kent run their grammar schools and allow children to take 11+ Cllr Lake believes they should continue to pay for children to go to the school.  Parents are happy their children are going to a grammar school but, unfortunately, do not have access to transport.  The ‘freedom pass’ costs £100 a year but only permits travel on buses and does not allow children to use the train service.  Sir John has been alerted to this problem and he and Peter are working to change minds at KCC.  The deadline is for next September for the next academic year.

KCC have no record of how children are performing and a social network is needed.  Mike Hill, cabinet member for youth and community, says there will be 12 district ‘pods’ with a hub in the district council with outreach for youth and community.  The main hub for Sevenoaks for children to attend activities is in Swanley.  Some activities may take place in new community centre.  It is felt that there should be some activities based in Edenbridge for after school on regular basis.  This initiative is to give children somewhere to go to in the evenings.

The County Council are keen to give salt bins if they are needed.  It was recommended that the Parish Council should also apply for a salt bag.  The Clerk advised that this has already been requested.  Salt bins will be paid for by County but have to be agreed by Highways regarding their positioning.

A meeting with the Head of Highways is to be held at the beginning of the year to discuss highways issues in general, from grass cutting verges to signage.  Cllr Lake noted that some roads definitely need refurbishing and white lines renewed, especially in Hartfield and on the Edenbridge road.  The Chairman and Parish Clerk were invited to attend the meeting.

Cllr Lake noted that the Parish Council have not requested money from the Numbers Fund and is very keen to receive request.  Cllr Lake is to provide details to the Clerk.  Requests can be for anything from Interactive signs to supporting schools.  In the past the County Council have provided a Teaching Assistant for the reception class in Four Elms where 35 children were taught by only one teacher.

Money is coming into Kent for broadband.  The Government are to give £9.73m which is to be matched with KCC money to increase broadband coverage.  Defra are to offer Kent £10m.  Broadband is to be upgraded, not just to lay down more cable but to try to increase wireless as well.  Cllr Lake has registered Hever as interested in receiving any monies, along with Chiddingstone and Cowden.  The money is available across the country so money will be allocated on a queue basis so applications need to be put in quickly.   Joanna Wade is to provide Cllr Lake information following analysing the Parish Plan.

6.                  To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 11th July 2011.

It was noted that for future minutes Councillors would like their names written as opposed to the formal title of Councillor.

The minutes of the meeting held 14 September 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

7.                  To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.

  • Cllr Mrs Thompson is to send details of Farm Watch to the Clerk – completed.
  • The Clerk is to ask Richard Bennett to investigate that all gravestones are safe and carry out any necessary work – John Hodson instructed Richard Bennet who has completed the survey.  He is to complete the necessary repairs.
  • The Clerk is to contact the driver following the accident at Four Elms – a letter has been written to the driver and a response is awaited.  Subsequently, two more accidents have occurred.  The Clerk is to contact the drivers.
  • The Clerk is to investigate and obtain a map from Highways to review – the Highways Department have sent details of a website to obtain details but it does not give satisfactory information.  The Clerk is to request how Highways identify roads in Hever and to obtain a copy of their information or how to access it.
  • The Clerk to investigate unlit light in Four Elms – The light outside the village hall is not illuminated.  The Clerk has contacted Direct Technical Services who are testing the light.
  • Cllr Hodson requested to publicise the Parish Plan via KFM – John Hodson has spoken to KFM who are interested in the story.
  • The Clerk is to add some frequently asked questions to the website re Parish Plan – completed.
  • The Clerk is to put further information on the Hever.org website re aircraft noise – more information has been put on the website but information of another local group is to be written.
  • The Clerk is to obtain feedback from the organiser of Parish Fun Day – on agenda under item 14.
  • The Clerk is to research the logistics for bulk refuse freighter – on agenda under item 16.
  • The Clerk is to forward the grant press release to Councillors – details of the grant are on the website.
  • Cllr Mrs Thompson is to investigate ownership of horse box on Five Fields Lane – the horsebox has been removed.  This item may need to be revisited if it reappears.
  • Cllr Mrs Thompson is to research grants from the war graves commission to maintain memorials – in order to receive money, photos need to be sent to the war graves commission with a report stating the need.  The commission does not pay for maintenance.  The Clerk is to investigate ownership of the war memorials.  It was also noted that photos should be taken of the memorials in case they are vandalised.
  • Cllr Southworth is to dispose of the old noticeboard in Four Elms – the noticeboard has been removed.
  • The Clerk is to research how to protect Four Elms Inn and request advice if property is to be sold – the Clerk has contacted Sevenoaks District Council.  However, Louise Nightingale advised the Council that a letter has been distributed stating an interest in taking on the lease.  The owners of the pub still own some of the leasehold so can only give a tenancy.  The prospective party is happy with a tenancy, subject to terms and conditions.  Further regulations state that at least 6 months have to pass before the pub can be sold so is not an immediate threat.

8.                  Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters

  • Two accidents have occurred on the corner at Willerbys.  The Clerk is to alert Highways of the problem.
  • As above, two accidents have occurred at the crossroads in Four Elms.  The Clerk is to inform Highways.


8.1          to review aircraft noise and note action to be taken.

A meeting with Gatcan was held on Thursday.  Gatcan are campaigning hard with a different approach to the issue.  A good productive link has been established with them.  Information regarding Gatcan and GANG will be on the website and we will continue to liaise with all groups.

Gatcan are keen on promoting the role of the Parish Council, advertising for more people to complain.  The more people who complain the more Gatwick have to pay attention.

John Roundhill arrived 8pm

The Parish Council are supporting Gatcan.  Most people think there is nothing they can do but it should be promoted for people to complain.  The danger is that if people do not complain things could get worse.

It was noted that there are grants for soundproofing homes.  The Council would like to promote this to the community but it is believed to be for houses close to the airport.  The Clerk is to investigate.

9.                   Planning

9.1          to make recommendations about Planning Applications received.

SE/11/02331/FUL & SE/11/02332/LBCALT – Hever Hotel, Hotel Road, Hever, Kent TN8 7NP

Extensions and alterations to main reception listed building and extension to detached non listed building to form accommodation for conferencing and seminars.  Reconfiguration of car park and general landscaping.

A meeting is being held 17th November 2011 where interested parties can comment on the application.  No action to be taken.

SE/11/02758/FUL – Little Warren House, Hever Lane, Hever, Kent TN8 7ET

Erection of new 3 bay garage

No objection.

SE/11/02650/VAR106 – Graceful Gardens Ltd, Hever Lane, Hever, Kent TN8 7ET

Revocation of Section 106 agreement dated 11 November 1993 in relation to Planning Application Ref SE/93/0845.

No objection.


To note applications granted, refused and withdrawn by District Council

Plum Paddock, Uckfield Lane, Hever, Kent TN8 7LJ – Demolish existing dwelling & erection of a new dwelling – REFUSED

10.               Finance

10.1        To approve accounts payable

The Clerk is to check our contract with Proground regarding the cuts of Hever field.  Also, it is believed that the school should pay half of the contract.  Clerk to investigate and, where necessary, send invoice.

An invoice for an additional £468 to J.Pearce was presented at the meeting to cover cost of repairs to Four Elms pond following the car accidents

All accounts were approved as per Appendix A.


10.2        To review budget for 2012/13

The proposed budget was noted.  The Council are to review at the next meeting once more information is known from the Parish Plan.  It may be necessary for the Council to initiate a policy regarding grants and reserves.

11.               To receive an update on the Parish Plan. (JW/JR)

More than 220 responses have been received.  It is hoped to have as many back as possible by Christmas.  Volunteers are to go and knock on doors to remind residents to return their questionnaire.  More questionnaires are to be printed.  A ‘we called but you were out’ is to be left at houses where there is no response.

Simulataneously, the steering group are thinking about analysing the data which will be a big undertaking.  The Council were asked if anyone has time to give it would be gratefully received.  The idea is to have a computer system and to give some questionnaires to people to enter data which will be collated centrally.

Perception in the parish is that as plans have been completed the results should be available imminently.

Adverts are to be put up making the point that the Council sets the precept in January and needs to know public feeling in order to serve the community.  Another article is going in the December link.

The Council are looking for additional funding to publish the plan.

12.               To discuss celebration for Diamond Jubilee 2012 (JH)

Kenton Ward reported that several people around the Parish want to set up their own events.  There is a general feeling that we would like to do something but not want to quash anything local.

HRA are to consult the Councilbefore doing anything.

Councillors felt we could help anything to organise things locally, underwriting events and aiding publicity.  Ideally, the Council would put together a small number of people to organise a family fun day on the Hever field to compliment anything else going on.  However, this cannot be decided until other events are known.

There is the possibility of an evening event at the Castle which could be  in conjunction with council but dates need to be reviewed.  It is difficult to do things during the day as the Castle is open all day.  The Council are to liaise with the Castle as to how the Council can be involved.  This would take some pressure off doing another event.

Kenton is keeping a record of proposed events and is also waiting for the parish plan analysis.  Councillors feel that we need to be seen to make contribution.

The Clerk is to find out from SDC whether other Councils are assisting commercial ventures.

Anita Sebastian is to find out more about the intentions of HRA.

Andrew Linklater is believed to be organising the event in Markbeech.  John Hodson is to find out more about events in Four Elms and Markbeech.

13.               To discuss electrics in Hever Field as per HRA

The electrics in Hever field were uncovered during recent works.  HRA have employed an electrician to check rectify the problem.  The Council need to receive documentation from HRA showing all the necessary work has been completed.

14.               To review Parish Fun Day.

The Clerk obtained a report from the organisers of the Parish Fun Day.  Only 7 children attended the event, reportedly due to bad weather and lack of advertising.

John Roundhill has approached Hever School.  They advised that they were going to do something this year but cancelled due to Council organising the fun day.  John Roundhill suggested that Hever School could do a week of events at the beginning of the holiday for children and Four Elms school could do another week at the end of holiday.  The Parish Council would provide some funding.

The Clerk is to contact the school to gauge interest and ideas.

15.               To review CCTV in the parish

Correspondence has been received about reviewing the need for CCTV in the parish.  No action is to be taken.

16.               To discuss if Parish Council is to fund a bulk refuse freighter to visit the Parish for residents use.

It was proposed that a bulk freighter come to the parish in the second week of January on a Saturday.  Proposed sites are the Castle car park and the car park opposite the church in Four Elms (Clerk to investigate ownership).

There is a need to publicise, both in The Link and on the wwww.hever.org website.

The freighter would be in each venue for 3 hours.  The Clerk is to liaise with the owner of each venue, advertise and seek costing.

17.               To discuss proposals from Four Elms Cricket Club to renovate pavilion

An email from Tim Seegar, Captain of the First Team has been received following the Annual Meeting where it was discussed to renovate the pavilion.  The School have shown interest in the renovations as they use the cricket ground.  Mr Seegar said Weald parish council got a sum of money given from cricket club.  The Clerk is to contact Weald Parish Council.

John Hodson also received a letter from the Chairman of the Cricket Club.  A meeting with Trevor Seers was held regarding this subject where it was stated that if the Club want to widen their scope to encompass more than the pavilion they could try for a sports grant.  The Council do not have the significant money necessary to give them.  The Club appear to be receptive to the proposal to widen the project from just renovating the pavilion.

John Southworth has a proposal to build a new pavilion/hall next to the school in an oast house style.  The other village hall would then be sold along with the two cottages owned by village hall.  Monies from the sales would be spent on the project.  These plans would keep the school happy, meet cricket requirements and the hall would be on right side of the road.

The Parish Club want to support the Cricket Club but believe the project should be a venture encompassing more areas of the community.

18.               Correspondence for noting

All correspondence was noted.

It was mentioned that Cllr Ryan is the District Councillor for Hever but it is unsure whether he is the District Councillor for Four Elms.  The Clerk is to investigate.

Correspondence with the Charity Commission has indicated that John Hodson is the only trustee of Four Elms Playing Field.  Clerk to investigate whether a trustee is required and, if so, why only one trustee is in place.

19.               Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.

John Southworth is to look at the compaid transport and report to the Council.

The Parish Council will be invoiced for the Four elms Christmas tree.  Following discussion, the Council gave Louise Nightingale authority over this matter.

The Clerk is to update the register of assets with new photos.

The Four Elms School has approached the Council for a Councillor to become a Community Governor.  Bonnie White volunteered and is to liaise with the school.

A production of Arabian Nights is taking place at Four Elms on Saturday.  Tickets £7.



There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:45pm.



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